Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Ombudsman sides with DepED’s principal

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

MALASIQUI – The legal squabble at the national high school here between the principal and her male teacher has been stopped by the Ombudsman when it exonerated the former.

On a nine pages resolution dated November 7, 2017, Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon Gerard A. Mosquera dismissed the Anti-Graft & Corrupt Practices Acts  (Republic Act No. 3019) and administrative cases filed by Vladimir Y. Laxamana against Principal IV Olive Paragas Terrado for lacks of probable cause and substantial evidence.
The legal complaint that became acrimonious inside and outside the media circles in the province started when Laxamana filed on March 17, 2017 a complaint at the Ombudsman for Luzon in Metro Manila against Terrado.
Laxamana said respondent committed the misused of the two canteens’ funds that started when she assumed her post in May 2014.
He raised the following complaints that Terrado manipulated the income of the canteen since her assumption as principal in May 2014 and misused the funds; she did not allow the teachers to form a cooperative to manage the canteen; the absence of financial reports of the projects funded by the Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) of MNHS; no financial reports on the popularity contests and other income earning projects spearheaded by respondents; Terrado was not fair in giving teaching loads to faculty members as she gave lesser loads to teachers who were closed to her; she did not accept and act on the promotion papers of complainant and Ms. Rowena Dollente; Terrado did not allow the students to join the Division Schools Press Conference due to lack of funds and MNHS had no school paper upon her instruction; she did not support the projects of the student leaders like the program for Teacher’s Day; and the fire extinguishers are placed in the room of respondent and not in their proper places.

In June 7, 2017 the Ombudsman directly asked Terrado to file her counter affidavits to each of the complaints of Laxamana.
VINDICATED: Malasiqui National High School Principal IV Olive Paragas Terrado is all smiles these days after the Ombudsman exonerated her on the criminal and administrative complaints filed at the Anti-Graft Body by her subordinate at the MNHS. Her receipt of the decision coincided with her birthday.
She said that it was the head of the TLE Department and not her who designated the teacher-in-charge of the canteen. The teacher who managed the canteens prepared a monthly “Report on Canteen Operation” which was audited by other teachers. These monthly reports were also filed with the Commission on Audit (COA) by the School Senior Bookkeeper; the canteen funds were not misused nor mismanaged. They were also never used for her personal benefit. They were used to finance activities that were related to or within the ambit of the enumerated items in DepEd Order No. 8, Series of 2007. The COA even approved it; it was the teachers themselves who did not want to pursue the formation of a cooperative due to the required documents to be submitted pursuant to Section 7.0 of DepEd Order No.8, Series of 2007. The DepEd Order also did not mandate that a school canteen be managed by a teachers’ cooperative; there were financial reports on projects funded by the MOOE of MNHS. These financial reports have been and continued to be published and posted in the Transparency Board located at the most conspicuous part of the Administrative Building; Terrado had no participation in the fund-raising activities for the construction of the school gym. The projects mentioned by complainant were project of the Parents-Teachers Community Association (PTCA), MAPEH teachers, Math Department and the MNHS teachers. The financial statements on the construction of the school gymnasium, signed and audited by the concerned teachers/officers, were only noted by her; the absence of school paper and non-participation to the Division School Press Conference were due to financial constraints. Pursuant to DepEd policies, no contributions were asked from the students for school years 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 for the school paper; and the fire extinguishers are located in strategic places of the school building.

On August 7, 2017 the parties submitted some of their positions that reiterated their accusation and defenses.

Dads to replace suspended Asingan Mayor, Veem

ASINGAN – A lady councilor here said that that the first top two elected municipal legislatures will replace temporarily the mayor and vice mayor here who were suspended for one year by the Ombudsman.
Councilor Evangeline Dorao cited that Councilor and Lawyer Joshua Viray and Councilor Mel Lopez will replace Mayor Heidee Chua and Vice Mayor Carlos Lopez, Jr. after the Ombudsman Conchita C. Morales issued a suspension order last October 13 against them.
She said the assumption of Viray and Lopez will take effect after the full implementation of the order by the Department of Interior & Local Government that according to an expert will take anytime from now.
“I was the only one to have the courage to write the Ombudsman and their indifference (Chua and Lopez) not to reply on my letters,” Dorao told this paper.
The issue according to Dorao was when the mayor and vice mayor of this Eastern Pangasinan town adorned last year with their names and pictures the ambulance bought by the local government unit (LGU).

Why sharpshooters are glamorized, glorified?

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

Can you still remember that famous and courageous soldier who took off his Kevlar helmet and bullet vest as quid pro quo to ISIS rebels in Marawi City so he could save a four years old girl  and other Christian hostages from the ISIS rebels in Marawi City in exchange of containers of water, soft drinks, and biscuits?
Yap, he is Army Captain Jeffrey Buada, commander of the 15th Scout Ranger Company.
After he was feted recently by his town Mangaldan in Pangasinan for his exemplary courage in Marawi, I asked Buada, a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy, about those incidents while we consumed our snacks treated by Mangaldan, Pangasinan Mayor Bona Fe D. Parayno and the town’s chief of Police Superintendent Jeff Fanged.
 Buada’s wife told me that the spouse is a sniper, too.

Indeed he was as I saw earlier on his shoulder badge a sniper’s logo embroidered with a glaring red word “Sniper”.

Scout Ranger Captain Jeff Buada (center), a sniper, shares snack with Mangaldan Mayor Bona Fe D. Parayno (extreme left) and his wife after the mayor fetes him because of his exemplary courage in the war in Marawi City.

Marksmen like Buada played a major role in the urban warfare in the Philippines where the State Security just won in a protracted Pyrrhic victory against the international terrorist Islamic groups and their associates’ Maute Muslim rebels in the now scorched to that ground Southern Philippines’ city.
What price glory when the entire city was not only obliterated but turned into smithereens? JesusMariaHusef! 
When Lieutenant Colonel Fanged, an alumnus of the Philippine National Police Academy,  posed what Buada was thinking when he was saving each of the hostages unarmed while enemy snipers lurking around ready to shoot him.
“Siguro magda –dive din ako doon sa (inaudible). Parang tinitingnan ko na rin medyo tumaas na rin ang confidence ko alam ko marami naka secure and nakabantay sa amin. Pag may nangyari  sa amin sigurado ako may makapag react ng mabilis. Naka focus sila sa pag secure sa amin (I’ll duck for cover. I have self-confidence because I know my comrade in arms where watching. In case something happened to me and my companion I know they were there to fire at the enemies. They were focus on our security),” Buada said.
“How many rebels you negotiated? Those who hid around? Do they have snipers?” I posed.
“They were 40 to 60 (combatants),” The Scout Ranger’s warrior told me on the tough but easily annoyed and hungry Moro ideologues they were chasing and exchanging shoots for several days.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

BIR launches MTS to collect more taxes

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

CALASIAO – To give more services to the Filipinos, the Bureau of Internal Revenue led by Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay launched recently here the Medium Taxpayer Service (MTS) to efficiently collect more taxes from the top 500 businessmen in the region.
BOSS -Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay of the Bureau of Internal Revenue poses with the officials of the agency’s Region-1 office after the Taxpayer Segmentation Forum with the top 500 businessmen in the four provinces’ Region-1 held recently at Jeck’s Convention Hall in Calasiao, Pangasinan. Photo by Mortz C. Ortigoza

Dulay earlier signed Revenue Memorandum Order 17, series of 2017 for the creation of regional teams to improve the Bureau’s collection from the top taxpayers in their regional areas.
“So that we can become hopefully win the future which is the dream for everybody. We continue to give you the public services that you need. We are doing this gaya ng sinabi ni President Duterte lahat tayo tunay na pagbabago sa bayan,” he told the Top 500 traders in the four provinces’ Region 1 who attended the Taxpayer Segmentation Forum held recently at Jeck’s Convention Hall here.
Revenue District Office – 4 Chief Merlyn DV Vicente said that the MTS was created to monitor the taxes of the Top 500 businessmen in every region in the country.
“They are from the top 500 taxpayers from the whole region. Regional offices na ang magko cover. Mag create sila ng task force para ma monitor itong Top 500”.
She said the regional office of the agency that is also based in this town will not hire personnel to carry the task but will just include the MTS to their work.
The top 500 traders listen attentively as BIR officials explained the nuances of paying taxes.
Vicente cited the revenue district offices all over the country will only give a support role to the job given primarily to the staff of the regional offices.
She said the forum here can help both the Top 500 Taxpayers in paying the right taxes and the BIR on efficient collection.
One of its thrusts, Vicente cited, is strict monitoring about the revenue of the businesses of these people.
Dulay said that 80% of the tax collected in the country is soldiered on by the bureau.
The collection for this year is P1.783 Trillion.
“As of September this year the BIR collected P1.3 Trillion already,” Dulay told the crowd.
The Medium Taxpayer Service is different to the Large Taxpayer Service that was introduced in year 2000.
LTS includes a corporation with an authorized capitalization of at least P300 million.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Scout Ranger Honors for Exceptional Gallantry, Chivalry


A sergeant told his officer he wanted to save a civilian who was limping because of a gun shot on his leg. The wounded was helpless at the rubbles and wreckage of houses where enemies were hiding, too.
The captain not only granted the request but crawled with him to cover the gunny with fire (in case the bad guys shot at them) as he retrieved the one – leg capable man.
The officer was startled after he saw weak, helpless, thirsty, and famished children and women just waiting for miracle to pluck them out to the hellhole the terrorists brought them into.
As the wounded man was carefully hurried up by the sergeant to the military side, the captain wondered why he did not hear a shot of a gun fire against them.
Image result for SOLDIER GALLANTRY
An armed- to- the- teeth soldier in a war. Photo Credit: Daily Express
Seeing an opportunity to the extra ordinary gestures of the enemies, he negotiated with them to free the other hostages after they told him they were thirsty and hungry too in a war that saw them running away  for weeks from the gung-ho soldiers backed up by modern military hardware not only provided by their government but with foreign powers.

What urban warfare I was implying here?
A.      Second Battle of Fallujah; B. Second Russian versus Chechen War; C. Battle of Huế  D: None of the Answers

My Anwer: D
The phenomenal cessation of hostilities and exemplary bravery did not happen abroad but ensue last October 19 at the War of Marawi – an Islamic poor city located at the Philippines' Southern Island Mindanao.
The officer is Army Captain Jeffrey Buada, commander of the 15th Scout Ranger Company.
His chutzpah: He laid down his assault rifle and removed his Kevlar helmet and bullet proof vest (probably imported after the Shore Based Missiles funds were shelved under the Aquino Administration) to show his sincere intention to just save the hostages where his fatherly instinct prevailed over his warrior spirit sculpted at the Black Panther School at Camp Mateo Capinpin in Tanay, Rizal Province after he imagined that those kids there were his 11 and 4 years old daughters in Luzon.
As quid pro quo, the ISIS terrorists asked the official for water and food.
After his selected men, who were unarmed, delivered the goods he showed good faith, chivalry, and magnanimity by taking a swig from plastic bottle (or quaff in a cup probably since I was not there, teh-he he) in front of the menacing enemies to show it was not diluted with poison.
When he and his men, who followed suit in removing their helmets and vests, started to hurry out the hostages for safety from the menace of the enemies just lurking around them.
After the last civilian was being plucked out from the area of fire, a shot rang somewhere and the deafening acrimony of the flurries of gun fire, the smell of gun powders, and the grinding and roaring of tanks shrouded the area

The temporary gentlemen’s agreement not to fire at each other in exchange for water to a hostage had ended and that encounter was concluded with one dead and 40 wounded
               on the part of the soldiers.
On the terrorists’ side, I could only speculate probably they were decimated through gun shot, wound infection, sheer starvation, unquenchable thirst or tetanus from those protruding and jutting rusty iron objects or the vaunted lansang (nail na Numero Singko) in Bisaya President Rodrigo Duterte feared when he said he avoided in directly joining the manhunt.
This human drama in the War in Marawi can rival the iconic Christmas Truce in World War 1.

Aside from the English, er, the Britons, that memorable one week ceasefire in the No Man’s Land is known in Germany and France as the Weihnachtsfrieden and Trêve de Noël where combatants there had series of widespread unofficial ceasefires along the Western Front in France one week before December 25, 1914.
The saga of that Christmas Truce was scribbled by Captain Robert Patrick Miles of the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry and published by the Daily Mail and Wellington Journal & Shrewsbury News in January 1915.
Unlike Philippine Army Captain Buada who months earlier was wounded by a bullet shot on the knee and recuperated in the hospital before that October 19 drama, British Captain Miles died from a German bullet wound a week after that “Great Fraternization” with the enemies.
Here’s Miles:
“The thing started last night – a bitter cold night, with white frost – soon after dusk when the Germans started shouting 'Merry Christmas, Englishmen' to us. Of course our fellows’ shouted back and presently large numbers of both sides had left their trenches, unarmed, and met in the debatable, shot-riddled, no man's land between the lines. Here the agreement – all on their own – came to be made that we should not fire at each other until after midnight tonight. The men were all fraternizing in the middle (we naturally did not allow them too close to our line) and swapped cigarettes and lies in the utmost good fellowship. Not a shot was fired all night”.
Other accounts narrated about British and Germans exchanged newspapers and even played soccer on some fields at the No Man’s Land.
Now let’s go back to Mangaldan town in Pangasinan where I met its Mayor Bona Fe D. Parayno and what the burgeoning local government unit in Northern Luzon has prepared for Buan on Tuesday (November 14) when the officer and a gentleman would be feted by the town known for its pindang (dried meat).
A proud Mayor Parayno told me in her office that the feat of the captain was exemplary and she, on behalf of her 106, 331 constituents (2015 Census), will honor with an award the town hero to be held at the presidencia or the municipal hall.
Siyempre exemplary, that is an exceptional bravery na hinde nakikita sa maski normal na sundalo. Ibig sabihin pag ganyan ang kanyang tapang nasa puso ang serbisyo. That’s the reason why gusto ko ring parangalan siya at bigyan ng papuri dito sa bayan,” the lady mayor stressed.
Noel de Guzman, at the community affairs of the mayor’s office, called me by phone after he told me during my tête-à-tête with the mayor that he would go back again at the house of Buada in Barangay Banaoang to talk with his father John especially on the decorum of the event on Tuesday.
He said that the Buadas came from Benguet Province just like other Pangasinenses who “trekked” the mountainous area especially decades ago to work to the mine fields of the multi companies there.
Noel told me that the captain studied at the Philex Mines Elementary School, Saint Louis High School, two years in college at the Saint Louis University, and the joined the Philippine Military Academy in 2002 and graduated at 2007.
His father is originally from San Jacinto, Pangasinan while the mother was a native of Mangaldan. His father is a retired employee of Philex,” Noel added to the mammoth mining company just kilometers above my birthplace at the elite military academy in Barangay Kias, Baguio City.